Annuals to the Rescue


forgotFOR SOME CRAZY REASON, this Roy Lichtenstein parody (once a popular T- shirt), right, popped into my head the other evening when I saw the vivid bed of annuals at LongHouse Reserve, Jack Lenor Larsen’s extraordinary East Hampton sculpture garden.

The explosion of color, designed by Dennis Schrader, owner of a North Fork nursery and co-author of Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening with Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones (Timber Press), is made up entirely of plants that were seeds a few short months ago (or tubers in the case of the banana-leaf-like cannas), and will be compost (or dug up and stored away) by November.

So if right about now you’re saying, “I can’t believe I forgot to plant a garden,” take heart. You can have a midsummer floral fantasia with cannas, coleus, verbena, and other hot-colored annuals in three months — by next July, anyway, provided you start in April. In fact, with annuals on sale now, you can have one instantaneously.



I also enjoyed the creative entries in LongHouse’s yearly container competition, below.


Fish-shaped containers set in shells and blue glass…


A mannequin as planter…


Simple ferns and ivy in a hollowed-out tree stump…


An abundance of succulents crammed into one pot.

4 thoughts on “Annuals to the Rescue

  1. It would be interesting to know who designed the containers………….it was a competition, yes????

  2. Yes, ML, here’s info about the winners, from the website East Hampton Patch:

    “The exhibition, on view until October 8, features 26 planters created by landscape and garden designers and artists. This is the fourth year the invitational has been held.

    Three winners and three Honorable Mentions were announced by invitational judge Dominique Browning…

    Best in Show was awarded to Southampton artist Hope Sandrow for “Untitled (Endangered Species).” Second Place went to “Good Luck in the Water” by Kate McCarty of Kate McCarty Organic Landscapes, Inc. of East Hampton. Third Place was awarded to Tracy Jamar of New York City and East Hampton.

    Honorable Mentions went to Tony Piazza of Piazza Horticultural Group of Southampton for “Parallel Universe.” Also to a planter designed by Geoffrey Ross and John Dransfield of Dransfield & Ross, Ltd. with Andrea Filappone of AJF Designs of New York. “Rustic Planter” by Geoffrey Nimmer from East End Garden Design, based in East Hampton, won an Honorable Mention and the People’s Choice Award.”

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